Taliban storm Afghan police base, kill five

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Kabul
Taliban attackers stormed a regional police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan Sunday, killing five officers and injuring 22 people in an assault launched by a suicide bomber. Of the seven attackers involved, one blew himself up in a car at the entrance to clear the way for the others to rush into the building, the office of the Paktia provincial governor said in a statement announcing the end of the raid. Special forces killed four of the insurgents but two held out for several hours, it said, adding that nine police and 13 civilians were wounded in addition to the dead. The attack on the base in the centre of the city of Gardez — part of the Taliban´s all-out assault during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan — was launched at 6:00 am. The base houses both regular policemen and police special forces. “One (attacker) blew up his vehicle at the entrance of the headquarters, opening the way for… others who opened fire on the security forces,” regional police commander, Asadullah Shirzad, told AFP. The head of the police hospital, Dr. Shir Mohammad, confirmed the five fatalities. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the raid. “Around 6:20 this morning a martyr attack was conducted by our mujahideen against a special forces base in Gardez, Paktia,” he said in a statement. “First a car bomb detonated then our mujahideen entered the building, opening fire on police.”—AFP